This is the third and final (for now) part in a series on Google Custom Search, and how information from custom search engines might be used in Google’s Web search. In the first part of this series, SEO and Assumptions behind Web Searches, I described some assumptions search engineers often make that are challenged by a recently published Google patent application, Aggregating Context Data for Programmable Search Engines. Quickly, those questioned assumptions are: Search Engines should avoid using information from external sources in learning how people search User data collected about a searcher’s past searches and browsing behavior can help identify the intent of that searcher during new searches User data collected about specific searchers, queries, and web sites can also be aggregated to help understand the intent behind a search In the second part of this series, Is Google Custom Search Influencing Google Web Search?, I looked at some of the past accomplishments of … [Read more...] about The Expertise of Google Custom Search Engines vs. the Wisdom of Crowds
Search engine for the internet of things
One of the things that you might have missed if you weren’t paying really close attention to the live blogs of the Apple WWDC keynote is that when iOS 7 comes out Siri will be able to directly search Twitter, Wikipedia — and Bing. From a search perspective that’s potentially huge news. I’m speculating that you’ll still be able to ask Siri to “search the web” and it will use whatever search engine you’ve chosen for Safari (still Google unless changed by the user). However Siri is now much more a legitimate “search engine” with Bing as the index. Integration of web search more directly into Siri was a missing piece and the thing that made it weaker than what Google has recently put together with Google Now and “conversational search.” In a way the new Siri-Bing relationship is very much like Yahoo-Bing. Yahoo is the UI on top of the Bing index. Now Siri is the UI for Bing results on the iPhone. Of course Siri pulls … [Read more...] about Apple Makes Bing The “Default Search Engine” For Siri
Lately, there’s been a rumble pretty much everywhere about artificial intelligence, digital personal assistants, the Internet of Things, wearables and apps for everything. I’ve even written about what the rise of digital assistants means to search. There are some who claim that these new technologies will render search obsolete, passed over for the convenience and joy of an always-available digital world. I think they are wrong. The search engine addiction Instead of looking at a search engine as an ad platform, we need to remember what it actually does for people. We tell search engines things that we don’t tell our significant others or our best friends. Think about that context for a minute. I might search for “how to tell your husband you’re pregnant” or “is that my baby kicking or gas,” or once the baby is born, “how to lose the baby weight.” Okay, maybe even “how does a name impact a child’s … [Read more...] about Will search engines fall to AI?
In the world of search, even dominated as it is by giants like Google and Bing, there’s still room for a small organisation to do something new, and do it well. Enter Plonked, a niche search engine focused on providing information about businesses. Plonked was co-founded by Ankur Varma and Josh Atir, both residents of the San Francisco Bay Area with a wealth of experience working in technology and software. The idea for Plonked was born out of conversations with sales teams about their work process and methods of discovering new leads, which led to the realisation that the tools they used for discovering companies – including Google – were either outdated or not detailed enough. “Google’s done an amazing job when you think about categorising the web; there’s your tab for images, your tab for news, videos, and so on; but there isn’t an equivalent thing for businesses,” said Varma, the co-founder and CEO of Plonked. “There’s no … [Read more...] about A first look at Plonked, the new search engine for business
Earlier this year, Tom Downey of the New York Times published a fascinating piece entitled, China’s Cyberposse. In the article he discussed a phenomenon that has being going on in China (and other parts of Asia) since 2001, known as “Human-flesh search engine”. Resembling the kind of single issue protest campaigns that the activist network 4-chan is able to achieve, “Human-flesh searches”, originated as a kind of crowd-sourced detective network made up of users of chinese forums and bulletin boards. Their goal – to take justice into their own hands. The original term “human-flesh search engine” was coined to signify a search for information that was conducted and delivered by humans instead of machines. Rather than relying on a computer based algorithm to locate and calculate the relevance of sources, the forums mobilize the community to discover and post the answers to questions which form the wider part of an investigation. Creepily, … [Read more...] about Human-flesh Search Engines Unearth Dark Side of Online Community